Amida Buddha, "The Bodhisattva Dharmakara, in his Wisdom, perceived the absolute inability of the sentient being to transform, in a fundamental way, itself, and thereby save and enlighten itself. Moved by Compassion, He gave rise to a series of vows that promised to create and bring to fruition those conditions that would lead to the salvation of such sentient beings, who, if left to their own devices, would be utterly beyond salvation.”
from Amida Buddha by Tetsuo Unno
The Buddha, "Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born in the sixth century B.C. in what is now modern Nepal." Born into a ruling family, the young prince Siddhartha grew up in lavish surroundings secluded from the outside world. At the age of 29 he ventured out into the world and saw suffering for the first time. He then left his life and started an ascetic life determined to "relieve universal suffering." After six years of auster practice, he realized balance was more important after a young girl offered him rice. "That night Siddhartha sat under the Bodhi tree, and meditated until dawn. He purified his mind of all defilements and attained enlightenment at the age of thirty-five, thus earning the title Buddha, or 'Enlightened One.'"
Adapted from Gautama Buddha
at Buddhanet.net's Buddhist Studies